GATE was founded in 2003 by Duane Elmer, Ralph Enlow, Robert Ferris, and John Lillis. All are experienced educators, theologically trained, have earned doctorates in education, have held teaching and leadership positions in theological schools, and have extensive cross-cultural experience.


Duane Elmer, GATE Associate Emeritus

Duane held the G. W. Aldeen Chair of International Studies and Mission at Trinity International University/Evangelical Divinity School (retired, Professor Emeritus) where he taught for fifteen years in the Doctor of Philosophy program. Prior to serving at Trinity, he taught for twelve years at Wheaton College, served on the faculty of Missionary Internship (a missionary training agency), pastored a church, and served on the faculty and as principal at the Durban Bible College in South Africa. Duane has a global ministry as author, lecturer, facilitator, and consultant in international theological education, peace and reconciliation ministry, preparation for intercultural ministry, and interpersonal relationship skills. He has traveled and ministered in over one hundred countries. Duane retired from GATE in 2010.

Ralph Enlow, GATE Associate Emeritus

Ralph has served as President of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) since 2007. ABHE’s membership comprises nearly 200 North American Bible colleges and Christian universities. His involvement in theological higher education includes service as senior educational officer (Provost), consultant, institutional self-study director, and chair of ABHE’s Commission on Accreditation. Ralph's books, publications, international consulting, and blogging interests revolve around the subjects of biblical leadership, board governance, Christian higher education. and teaching/learning. His leadership on non-profit boards includes the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE), International Alliance for Christian Educators (IACE), The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). 


Robert Ferris, GATE Associate Emeritus

Bob is Professor Emeritus at Columbia International University. He retired in 2007 from eighteen years in teaching and administrative roles at the university. For twenty-one years the Ferrises served as missionaries in the Republic of the Philippines where Bob taught at FEBIAS College of Bible, directed the Philippine Association of Bible and Theological Schools, and served as dean of Asian Theological Seminary. In 1988-89, Bob was missionary scholar in residence at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. Other responsibilities have included roles with Asia Theological Association, the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (formerly ICAA), and the World Evangelical Alliance Missions Commission.

John Lillis, GATE Associate Emeritus

John is the Provost at Grace College and Seminary. He came to faith in Christ in his early twenties while completing a graduate degree in physics. His subsequent call to ministry led him to seminary, into overseas missions, and to leadership in Christian higher education. As the Asia Director of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary’s Southeast Asia Extension Program, he lived for eight years in Bangkok, Thailand, and in Manila, Philippines. Since returning from Asia, John served in instructional and educational leadership roles at Cornerstone University and at Bethel Seminary San Diego before joining the staff of Grace College and Seminary. In addition to his love for Pacific Rim cultures, John’s ministry has expanded to include Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, and South America.